One of the reasons I blog is to put out stuff to see how others react to it. This is to ultimately modify and improve …. the stuff. I was rather amused a while back when we were discussing racist science, and I was accused of intentionally putting stuff out there to see what reactions it would get, with the long term idea of modifying and improving my stuff.

Apparently, this is called “Trolling one’s own blog.”

Well, I’m in good company.


It turns out that René Descartes trolled his own community of letters, which is what they did back in the 17th century instead of blogging. One of his “posts” … which had disappeared during the 19th century when it was stolen along with a bunch of other documents presumably by Philosophy Denialists … had turned up, and it is an example of this.

The letter, dated May 27, 1641, concerns the publication of “Meditations on First Philosophy,” a celebrated work whose use of reason and scientific methods helped to ignite a revolution in thought.

The document, experts say, reveals just how much Descartes tailored his writings to answer his contemporary critics. Frequently suspected of heresy, Descartes sent copies of his arguments to well-known theologians to gauge their opinions and answer their objections within his text.


Details here

Comments

  1. #1 gwen
    February 26, 2010

    I was listening to the most recent podcast episode of the Minnesota Atheists yesterday, and was thinking it was something you would be interested in, when I scrolled back, I realized that you were one of the guests!! Great podcast!

  2. #2 MadScientist
    February 27, 2010

    My colleagues do that all the time to see if I say something like “that’s a stupid idea, how the hell do you think it would ever work?” Niels Bohr did the same to Richard Feynman because Feynman had a reputation and did not know Bohr personally at the time; Bohr wanted an honest appraisal of some ideas but most people who knew him only nodded and said he’s brilliant.

  3. #3 Lassi Hippeläinen
    February 27, 2010

    Monty Python did the same when they were making Life of Brian. It didn’t help; the Xians went berserk anyway, just for the show.

  4. #4 Alex
    February 27, 2010

    One of the reasons I blog is to put out stuff to see how others react to it.

    Why are you an anthropologist, and not a psychologist?